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Beekeeping is a rewarding job or a hobby, but it also comes with many challenges. The prognosis for the future is always grim for the bees, and it seems like they might be coming true. However, no matter how many challenges beekeeping can provide for the bee owner, there’s nothing that can’t be overcome with some planning. So, if you’re set on trying to start your own colony, here’s how you can make it thrive.
Choose a good location
Both bees and beekeepers can benefit from a good location. In an urban setting, you can have a few hives as a hobby, just make sure to check the laws of the area. However, cooperating with a partner who has property outside of town can be a great idea. Their land probably offers plenty of trees and plants that will encourage your bees to produce plenty of honey. And you can share the profit with the landowner, it’s an easy agreement. When beekeeping away from home, make sure to have a good vehicle that will allow you to take good care of your colonies.
Consider the wind
Good ventilation is very important for bees, but too much cold wind getting directly into the hive can pose a big problem. Be sure to position the hives’ entrance away from the wind and build fencing or buildings to create cover from the wind.
Get them good housing
Bees need a good home that will allow them to build comb, store food and raise young. Today, there are many types of hives available on the market, so if you’re a beginner, you might find yourself utterly confused. Luckily, you can find comprehensive beehive reviews online that will allow you to compare prices, sizes, mobility, components and materials. Providing your bees with good housing will give you the best results in the end, so doing your homework is crucial.
Keep them well hydrated
Bees are keen on water (even though they’re bad swimmers), so you need to keep them hydrated. Ideally, your source of water would be natural and close by so your bees don’t have to spend a lot of energy to reach it. Nearby streams, ponds and canals are always a good option. If you need to set up an artificial water source, place it at least 10 feet away from the colonies, so they can communicate the location of the water well between each other. And keep in mind that bees are creatures of habit, so it will be hard to get them to use another water source once they get used to something.
Provide them with plenty of sun
Bees showered with the sun will be active and healthy. At least five to six hours of sunlight even in the winter is a crucial element of a thriving beehive. However, if you live in an area with strong afternoon sun, you want to have some shade for easier cooling—you don’t want them to use up all their energy on this tiring task.
Give them food
Finally, providing your bees with practical food sources is crucial. Early spring nectar will feed your bees well after a cold winter, so you want to have plenty of nutritious spring flowers around. However, since wildflowers dry up quickly, expect the bees to go through their honey supplies fast if there’s no other food around. In that case, a nearby hayfield with some clover will come in handy and make your bees satisfied all through the dry season. But, make sure to learn about crops and what chemicals are used on them (many insecticides are deadly to bees).
Buying hives and filling them with bees won’t get you far in this business. However, constant education on the subject and careful hive management will get you good results and allow you to enjoy your little buzzing friends. We hope this article was helpful in providing tips on how to make your beehive thrive.